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The Saint

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: The Saint

Starring: Val Kilmer, Elisabeth Shue
Director: Phillip Noyce
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 100 Minutes
Release Date: April 1997
Genres: Action, Suspense

*Also starring: Rade Serbedzija, Velery Nikolaev

Review by Walter Frith
1 star out of 4

Val Kilmer has an alleged reputation of being difficult to work with. On the set of 'The Doors' (1991) reports circulated that he didn't want anyone to talk to him as he was getting in character to play Jim Morrison. Recently, on the set of one of his latest films it was also alleged that he demanded to know the astrological signs of the crew and cast members. Regardless of whether or not these rumours are true, it certainly raises some eyebrows.

In 'The Saint', Kilmer plays Simon Templar, a renegade professional thief and master of disguise whose latest coup takes him to capitalist Russia where a former communist and now famous oil tycoon wants Kilmer to steal a formula essential to making cold fusion work in producing energy to substitute the world's need for oil. The oil tycoon (Rade Serbedzija) is also running for the Russian presidency and uses his secret hobby as leader of a Russian Mafia branch to strong arm his way to his nation's highest office. The scientist responsible for developing the formula (Elisabeth Shue) has a romantic fling with Kilmer and they are eventually forced to run for their lives when things go awry.

How is 'The Saint'? It can be best described as protracted, muddled, shallow and downright boring. Kilmer has all the savvy of a James Bond stunt double only stunt doubles don't talk in movies and Kilmer revolutionizes that theory. His portrayal of the leading character is terribly inept and Shue fares no better as a flimsy and helpless character (caricature).

Director Phillip Noyce ('Patriot Games', 'Clear and Present Danger') is a director of organization rather than of creativity. His instructional authority on this movie looks amateurish and the film is almost entirely void of action as the plot chooses to focus on the romance rather than the intrigue. That's fine but let's not over do it.

'The Saint' is based on the classic television series with Roger Moore whose suave, charming persona would later land him the role of James Bond and 'The Saint' may appeal to the fans of Val Kilmer. As for being creative and shrewd filmmaking, 'The Saint' ain't.

Copyright 1997 Walter Frith

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